Redstone hunter Walter Chaney did not expect to have another deer mounted at his home.
But his plans changed Feb. 8 when he bagged one of the largest deer in state history.
Chaney, who works in base operations at Redstone Airfield, shot a 21-point deer that afternoon in area 37 on post. He was with hunting partner Taz Phoenix.
“All of my time that I’ve hunted at Redstone (since 2014-15), out of the previous six bucks I’ve killed on Redstone, all of them put together may score as high as this one deer,” Chaney, a Huntsville native, said.
“I’m ecstatic, pure ecstatic, tremendously. Still in a little bit of shock, but at the same time thrilled to have killed an animal that most hunters dream of. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime animal.”
Ed Jones of Athens, master scorer for Alabama whitetail records, measured the deer Feb. 11. He has served as the official measurer for more than 32 years. Jones said this 21-point deer measured out at probably No. 4 in the non-typical muzzleloader category. It was 171 6/8 inches for fourth largest in that category.
“It makes the books in the typical and the non-typical,” Jones said.
Chaney and Phoenix, his hunting partner for three seasons, met up about 12:30 p.m. to go into area 37 to try to kill a doe. When they entered the area, they devised a plan on where they thought the deer would come from. They split off from each other and they were probably hunting within 150 yards of each other.
“We had sat there from probably about 1 o’clock till 3 until I saw a deer moving through the thick brush and realized that it was a buck,” Chaney said. “After realizing that it was a legal shootable deer, I looked for an area through which the deer was going to pass to take a shot.”
He fired his CVA muzzleloader from about 60 yards away.
“After the smoke cleared I saw the deer running back into the direction from where he came. As I was watching, the deer fell down within 40 yards of the area in which I took the shot. So after sitting and watching the deer for approximately five minutes, I reloaded the muzzleloader watching to make sure the deer didn’t run away. After reloading I took the only shot that I had to finish off the deer.”
Chaney, 38, plans to have it mounted on a pedestal at his Harvest home in Limestone County. The two deer on his wall include the first he ever killed and the biggest deer that he had killed before graduating from high school.
He and his wife, Nicole, have been married since June 2013 and he has three stepchildren. Chaney, a contractor, started working at the airfield in September 2008. He and Phoenix met the year Phoenix arrived as an active duty Soldier. Phoenix, who resides in Priceville, retired from the Army in December 2019. Chaney and Phoenix go hunting together about every weekend to every other weekend.